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Thou Wast a Bond-Man

John Newton, the former slave-ship captain, was so grateful for God’s gracious dealings with him that when the vicarage at Olney was refurbished he had two sentences from Isaiah 43:4 and Deuteronomy 15:15 painted over the fireplace of his study: ’Since thou wast precious in my sight thou hast been honourable: but thou shalt remember that thou wast a bond-man in the land of Egypt and the Lord thy God redeemed thee.’

We must not live in the past but dare not forget God providential provision in life’s experiences and allow our sense of thankfulness to fade. One of the saddest moments in the Gospels is pictured in the words of Jesus when he said, ’Where are the nine?’ (Luke 17:17). He was asking as to what had happened to the nine men who had known such wonderful release from the misery of leprosy and had forgotten to come back and say, ’Thank you, Lord.’

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